Two things deserve our attention: NBA MVP Kevin Durant and . . . climate change

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Over the past five years, the priorities of this country have shifted, and it would appear that the environment has taken a back seat. The economy collapsed. The Tea Party and other extremists have pushed the moderates of the Republican Party to the right.

It’s time for the Republican Party to get in front of this issue instead of taking the heat for disregarding a real environmental threat. In order to put pressure on other countries, Republicans and Democrats must be united on climate change. This means Republicans must stop denying that a problem exists, but Democrats need to face the reality of our fight on a global level.

While the U.S. continues to cut down on pollutants and dangerous toxins and carbon emissions, other nations do little to nothing to curb the problem. America can’t be the only one that utilizes and develops costly technologies to reduce pollutants and attempts to solve other environmental problems. The U.S. can’t be the only industrialized nation to act. What about China and India?

There is no reason for the Republican Party to be extreme, but we have to be practical. Climate change will continue, and unless we become proactive, the problem will only worsen. Let’s concentrate on getting an enforceable agreement with the other leading industrial nations of the world. It’s worth the pressure. Economic boycotts? Sure! Unless China and India understand that this is a cause for real concern, they will never join in the cause to reduce pollutants.

Our pollutants and toxins have exacerbated climate change. There is real scientific proof of environmental change. The sea level is rising. Streets in our beach communities flood after heavy rains. Take a closer look the next time you stroll one of the beautiful beaches of Long Island.

But the Democrats shouldn’t blame the Republican Party. They should start pressuring other industrialized nations, and start a global conversation on real change.

Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column?

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